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Friday, November 21, 2014


The Eagle and its ancestor incarnations have been here at the heart of Cambridge, UK since the 14th or 16th century.  To pin down the exact date ask the resident ghost.
WARM WELL LIT PLACE—The Eagle in Cambridge, England calls a section of its venerable establishment: The RAF Bar.  Located in the rear of this Corpus Christi College owned pub (managed by Greene King brewery), a bit of history is served with meals, pints and time honored lore.  It is in this bar where pilots in World War II placed their names or their graffiti on the ceiling after returning back to England from bombing runs.  They used cigarette lighters to etch their names.

Cherished ceiling Graffiti from World War II 
But the largest pub in this university city goes back a bit more than WWII.  Faithfully serving its trade since it opened in 1667 (nee “Eagle and Child,”) the pub is one of the more popular places in the centre city.  Others sipping on cask ale insist the bartender told them the inn’s roots go back to the 14th century.  No records show when The Eagle started calling itself a gastropub.

Maybe so, but a newer slice of urban legend has it that in 1953 two future Nobelists Frances Crick and James Watson burst into The Eagle from a nearby lab to alert the world and the pub’s midday crowd that they unlocked the secrets of the double helix: DNA.  A blue plaque near the front door to the Eagle’s Pub commemorates that announcement.

Regulars to the pub include at least one ghost.  Some flesh and blooders complain that the place is a tourist trap, but that’s before they meet the ghost. Fortunately for the complainers there are other pubs in Cambridge, who might serve them.

Pillar to Post’s faithful correspondent favored the Eagle’s DNA on tap.  And, judging from expense reports stayed for dinner and purchased a few rounds for the locals.  Carpe Diem.

The Eagle
8 Benet Street (north side)
Cambridge CB2 3QN, UK
O1223 505020

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